September 20, 2012

Yahweh’s Equation

The first thing I see when I look at the field of ethics is all the branches and sub-fields or divergence of ideas from person to person, culture to culture and age to age. They are all seeking to formulate an acceptable explanation of right and wrong. The very next thing that I see is that, more often than not, they are seeking to define right and wrong…for the wrong reasons from the wrong angles. The thinking is askew; morality/ethics are perverted and pigeon-holed into the inflexible agenda of a miserly depraved troll called man/woman. More specifically, fallen creatures seek to wrap their heads around an explanation of reality and right and wrong that allows their assumptions of their world to remain intact. The atheist is seeking to affirm right and wrong through a lens that precludes God.

The pragmatist is seeking to define right and wrong through a premise that allows for a pragmatic ethic that will also allow for moral correctness to evolve similar to scientific knowledge which supposedly evolves socially over the course of lifetimes according to John Dewey (of Humanist Manifesto fame). This therefore can then be used to socio-political ends which is exactly what Dewey did. He thereby manages to influence the educational and political systems with his unbiblical presuppositions that were firmly and solely in the theorizations of humanity and devoid of God. He can do this while simultaneously passing his decidedly unethical ethics as moral and ethical, just as any “good” godless humanist would.

We then see the hedonist view of right and wrong through the lens of egregiously and frivolously chasing pleasure in the form of self-gratification even if the search and pursuit of that pleasure may bring harm to others. Especially when that pursuit is sexual and it is with a partner that wants a monogamous relation (singular) and the hedonist wants promiscuous ones (plural). Who is wrong?

Without absolute measures beyond humanity, we are stuck with the fickleness and volatility of a fallen inferior creature to dictate ethics. Humanity is a creature clearly incapable of discerning ethics properly.

The question then arises in my mind: “Who oversees the overseers of ethics, the ethicists themselves?” Who is capable of an absolute measure of right and wrong? Humanity itself? Does this not become part of the very conundrum of ethics itself when it turns itself inward to humanity which is innately flawed? What is the ultimate ethical measure of a human, is it another flawed human? Is a person even capable of unbiased neutrality in a game of life that they have a vested interest in (their own)? What I begin to see is that the very reason ethics exists is to be the gauge and measure of humanity itself, yet we allow humanity itself to be the judge of itself. This is like asking someone to act as a Rook or the Bishop and to also be the overlying judge of the strategy on the entire chessboard for both sides when they can only see in two dimensions or in predetermined directions that are laid down by the creator of the game. The game is larger than any participant’s perspective.  We see that ethics is indeed multi-faceted and there is no one human being (or group) that is capable of making a perfectly ethical decision because of this. Why? Because the Bible tells me that all men are fallen in sin and this fact taints any ability they have to make a perfectly ethical or righteous decision.  As the pragmatic brings his pragmatists presuppositions so the hedonist brings his hedonistic presuppositions, so too a sinner brings a sinful lens to bear on ethical issues when trying to make ethical decisions.

As Christians, it is here that I again see why we are dependent on Christ for the ability to make ethical / righteous decisions.  Even in humanity’s study and examination of something so important like man’s ethics we see the overt taint of bias and agendas. The sinful taint affects the very angle from which many people approach their study of ethics: Dewey, Nietzsche, etc. Just as British philosopher Thomas Hobbes observed: “Many, if not all, of our actions are prompted by selfish desires”….and this even includes our ethics. Even in our attempts to do the right things, sinful man does them wrong or they are motivated by the wrong reasons.

We can formulate all the ethics categorizations for every little nuance of thought and action that we want in this world…yet they are all tainted and twisted from the very start. Therefore, ultimately they are not truly ethical without the oversight and influence of God in the final outcome or equation. It is here that I again see the total depravity of man in its clearest light. Without the power of the Cross we all fall way short. It literally takes the most ethical decision of the most ethical God-man in history to make the ethics of regular people amount to anything other than a steaming pile of immorality and sinful garbage. It literally requires nothing less than the strategy of God’s plan to make our actions and thoughts worthy of something other than damnation. It is a divine moral equation that is needed to balance the scales and get humanity back to a place where we can even be viewed as righteous, let alone truly ethical. The measure of ethics is God because God is ethics and morality.

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